Man says COVID caused his penis to shrink by an inch and a half

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  • A man said his penis shrunk by an inch and a half after he developed COVID-19.

  • Urologists say "COVID dick" is a real concern for people with penises who develop the disease.

  • Urologists say penis pumps and stretching devices could help people rehabilitate their penises after COVID-19.

On the latest episode of Slate's "How to Do It | Sex Advice with Stoya and Rick," a man in his 30s said he is coping with a long-term side effect of COVID-19: penile shrinking.

Prior to getting sick, he described his penis as "above average" in size. After he contracted the coronavirus in July 2021 and was hospitalized, the man noticed his penis had shrunk by at least an inch and a half.

"I seemed to be left with a lasting problem. My penis has shrunk," the man, who did not disclose his vaccine status, wrote. "It's apparently due to vascular damage, and my doctors seem to think it's likely permanent."

According to urologists, more people have found their erections were affected by a COVID-19 infection.

In November, a group of urologists put out a PSA in honor of National Impotency Month and warned people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to "save the future of boners." They said the disease can cause erectile dysfunction in some patients, leaving them with "COVID dick."

COVID-19 can impact blood flow to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction for some patients

There is evidence COVID-19 may impact the penis.

A small study published in August 2021 found some people who suffered erectile dysfunction after COVID-19 infection had virus particles in their penis. The study authors wrote the infection may have restricted blood flow to the penis.

Insider previously reported COVID-19 infections have been associated with poor circulation and blood clots, seen in patients with "COVID toes," strokes, and heart failure.

Urologists say penis pumps and stretching devices could help 'rehabilitate' people with COVID-related erectile dysfunction

Dr. Charles Welliver, a urologist and director of men's health at Albany Medical College, told Slate there are ways to treat the condition that involve rehabilitation.

Though it was initially thought a low dose of erectile dysfunction medication can help, Welliver says devices that stretch the penis or vacuum the penis can help regain lost girth and length.

"There is very good data that shows that is possible," Welliver said.

Dr. Ashley G. Winter, a urologist and sex med doctor, also recommends using a penis pump to rehabilitate the penis by doing what's called a "penis push-up," which involves turning on the device to encourage blood flow.

"These are easy things you can do at home to either prevent shortening or actually get back length that you've lost," she told Slate.

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